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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Matching one discreteness with another Bohr supposed that the energy loss was radiated as a single photon.
▪ The photomultiplier was operated in the single photon counting mode.
▪ As a result of this, some eyes are capable of detecting a single photon.
▪ Suppose the intensity is lowered to a level at which only a single photon at a time encounters the crystal.
▪ But photons are extremely odd particles indeed.
▪ But here things are very different: each individual photon behaves like a wave entirely on its own!
▪ Consider a photon which is polarised parallel to the optical axis of P,.
▪ Consider also, this kind of phenomenon affects not just photons, but every particle in every interaction.
▪ How can it be that by allowing the photon an alternative route, we have actually stopped it from traversing either route?
▪ How will you capture photons fast enough to propel the sail at speed and over long distances?
▪ The great advantage of using lower-energy photons rather than X-rays is the greater resolution attainable.
▪ The two photons are like the left and the right eyes of the cat.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"unit of electromagnetic radiation," 1926 in modern sense, from photo- "light" + -on "unit."


n. (context particle English) The quantum of light and other electromagnetic energy, regarded as a discrete particle having zero rest mass, no electric charge, and an indefinitely long lifetime. It is a gauge boson.


n. a quantum of electromagnetic radiation; an elementary particle that is its own antiparticle


A photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of all forms of electromagnetic radiation including light. It is the force carrier for electromagnetic force, even when static via virtual photons. The photon has zero rest mass and as a result, the interactions of this force with matter at long distance are observable at the microscopic and macroscopic levels. Like all elementary particles, photons are currently best explained by quantum mechanics but exhibit wave–particle duality, exhibiting properties of both waves and particles. For example, a single photon may be refracted by a lens and exhibit wave interference with itself, and it can behave as a particle with definite and finite measurable position and momentum. The photon's wave and quanta qualities are two observable aspects of a single phenomenon, and cannot be described by any mechanical model; a representation of this dual property of light, which assumes certain points on the wavefront to be the seat of the energy, is not possible. The quanta in a light wave cannot be spatially localized. Some defined physical parameters of a photon are listed.

The modern concept of the photon was developed gradually by Albert Einstein in the early 20th century to explain experimental observations that did not fit the classical wave model of light. The benefit of the photon model was that it accounted for the frequency dependence of light's energy, and explained the ability of matter and electromagnetic radiation to be in thermal equilibrium. The photon model accounted for anomalous observations, including the properties of black-body radiation, that others (notably Max Planck) had tried to explain using semiclassical models. In that model, light was described by Maxwell's equations, but material objects emitted and absorbed light in quantized amounts (i.e., they change energy only by certain particular discrete amounts). Although these semiclassical models contributed to the development of quantum mechanics, many further experiments beginning with the phenomenon of Compton scattering of single photons by electrons, validated Einstein's hypothesis that light itself is quantized. In 1926 the optical physicist Frithiof Wolfers and the chemist Gilbert N. Lewis coined the name photon for these particles. After Arthur H. Compton won the Nobel Prize in 1927 for his scattering studies, most scientists accepted that light quanta have an independent existence, and the term photon was accepted.

In the Standard Model of particle physics, photons and other elementary particles are described as a necessary consequence of physical laws having a certain symmetry at every point in spacetime. The intrinsic properties of particles, such as charge, mass and spin, are determined by this gauge symmetry. The photon concept has led to momentous advances in experimental and theoretical physics, including lasers, Bose–Einstein condensation, quantum field theory, and the probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanics. It has been applied to photochemistry, high-resolution microscopy, and measurements of molecular distances. Recently, photons have been studied as elements of quantum computers, and for applications in optical imaging and optical communication such as quantum cryptography.

Photon (anime)

'Photon: The Idiot Adventures ' is a six-episode anime OVA series created by Masaki Kajishima. The main character, Photon, possesses superhuman strength but is extremely simple-minded. He engages in heroic adventures of different varieties. He accidentally gets married to a rebel space pilot named Keyne, and becomes involved in fighting an evil wannabe galactic emperor and his "bumbling henchmen".

The ending song, "Pinch!", is performed by Yui Horie. A manga based on the anime was written by Hiroshi Kanno.

Photon (TV series)

Photon was a live action television show in the mid-1980s, which was tied in to the Photon lasertag arenas and home game. It was produced by DIC Entertainment as a first run syndicated kids series which shown in various syndicated markets through most of the mid eighties. Animator Shinji Aramaki served as miniature model maker/designer on the special effects team for the series.

Photon (disambiguation)

A photon is an elementary particle of light.

Photon may also refer to:

  • Photon (comics), two superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe, both formerly known as "Captain Marvel"
    • Photon (Image Comics), a comic book superhero from Image Comics
  • Photon (anime), a Japanese animated video series
  • Photon: The Ultimate Game on Planet Earth, the original lasertag game
    • Photon (TV series), a short-lived television show tied into the game
  • Photon, the codename of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system
  • Motorola Photon, a Motorola smartphone
  • Photon belt, an esoteric spiritual belief
  • Photon (EP), an EP by Bailter Space
  • Photon, a song by VNV Nation from the album Automatic
  • Photon, the Higonnet and Moyroud's Lumitype
Photon (comics)

Photon, in comics, may refer to:

  • Monica Rambeau, the female, former leader of the Avengers, also known as Captain Marvel
  • Genis-Vell, the male son of Mar-Vell, also formerly known as Legacy and Captain Marvel
  • Photon, a member of Youngblood
  • Jason Dean, the villain who murdered Nova's uncle Ralph Rider.
Photon (Image Comics)

Photon is a fictional comic book superhero from Image Comics. Created by Rob Liefeld, she first appeared in Team Youngblood, a spin-off comic of the popular Youngblood series of comic books.

Photon (album)

Photon is the third studio album from Japanese electronica/ rock duo Boom Boom Satellites, released on July 24, 2002.

Usage examples of "photon".

If the mirrors are about six inches apart, it will take the photon about a billionth of a second to complete one round-trip journey.

For instance, if we are timing a horse race and count that between the start and finish the number of round-trip photon journeys is 55 billion, we can conclude that the race took 55 seconds.

If the photon did not travel along this path, it would miss the upper mirror and fly off into space.

The photon bounces off the upper mirror and again travels a diagonal path to hit the lower mirror, and the sliding clock ticks.

The extra distance that the sliding photon must travel is tiny and it has a correspondingly tiny effect on the rate of ticking of the moving clock.

To distinguish the ensuing trajectory of the photon from the previous trajectories of the electron and positron, we follow a traditional physics convention and draw it with a wiggly line.

The flash, a photon, is itself a string in a particular vibrational pattern.

This is how, we recall, unwrapped strings can yield the zero-mass photon, graviton, and the other massless or near-massless particles, for example.

With its partner having disappeared into the abyss of the hole, the other photon of the pair no longer has a partner with which to annihilate.

Instead, Hawking showed that the remaining photon gets an energy boost from the gravitational force of the black hole and, as its partner falls inward, it gets shot outward, away from the black hole.

Hawking realized that to someone looking at the black hole from the safety of afar, the combined effect of this tearing apart of virtual photon pairs, happening over and over again all around the horizon of the black hole, will appear as a steady stream of outgoing radiation.

A time display flashed in the bottom right corner of the photon amp image, spectral yellow digits: 21:17:08.

Suzi ducked into the darker oval of an open hatch, fumbling her photon amp into place as she went.

The photon amp showed a monster crab scuttling right at him, metre length of pipe instead of claw.

A tube of impenetrably black air, which even the photon amp had difficulty discerning.